Exciting news! I found out I’ll be graduating university with a high First Class degree in computer science. I’m so happy with myself I could scream!
I’m so proud of myself!
Four very hard, very demanding and very tearful years of university have come to an end and at least I have something incredible to show for it. I may no longer want to pursue this industry but there’s no doubt that, if I ever wanted to find a place back into computing, I’d be welcome with this qualification.
Before the release of my results, I was actually pretty down about graduating. I don’t want to walk onto stage in front of hundreds of people – I feel sick just thinking about it. There’s so many outdated, old-fashioned rules that have to be followed during a graduation ceremony too, so it’s really not my cup of tea. But, now I have my results, it feels like it can be an actual celebration. A goodbye to two of the best and two of the worst years of my life. University has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions!
During this time, me and Matthew built our little family together. We wouldn’t have our home if we didn’t decide to study at The University of Hull. We wouldn’t have our cats. Our life is wonderful and, despite the ups and downs we faced at university, coming home together was always happy.
Have you had any good news lately?
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You can read my previous post here.
When you’re growing up, adults always ask you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” as if at 4 or 5 years old we have any clue at all. You want to be unicorns or dragons or wizards or mermaids – at that age the importance isn’t quite understood, but it’s a question that continues all the way into higher education. I’ve only recently finally managed to answer the question myself.
Throughout my life, I’ve been adamant that I will be this or will be that, but in fact, my life took a huge turn (for the better, thankfully) and I ended up on the path to computer science and software engineering. I’m glad, of course, that I’m now settled with the idea that this is what my future holds, but I’ve had so many aspirations and dreams that it’s hard not to look back on them fondly.
“When I grow up” I wanted to be a:
- Vet: Most animal lovers adore the idea of looking after animals all day, especially as a child. I imagined people bringing their cats and dogs in with little coughs, I’d give them medicine and play with them, and then they’re go home. Like a game. When you’re a child, the reality of being a vet hasn’t yet ruined the dream for you. It’s not all baby bunnies and kittens, sadly. This dream left me when I understood that animals died there (sob), and I’m a little squeamish of other’s blood.
- Teacher: From primary school all the way up until the last year of college, I was sure I wanted to teach. I’ve wanted to teach lots of subjects, but always magnetised back to teaching English. I changed my mind ultra last minute when I choose the course I wanted to study at university. It was a coin throw between English (be a teacher) and Computer Science (be anything I want, or so it felt). I made my choice, and I’m happy with it.
- Farmer: This pops up quite regularly still to this day. The idea of living in the countryside, with my animals and my crops and my pets has always appealed to me. I know farming isn’t an easy job, but it’s something I’d have loved to be born into. If I ever happened across a lot of money in my life, I’d love to buy a smallholding or a ‘hobby farm’. Not for profit, but for the freedom of ‘grow your own’. Fruit and veg from your back garden, eggs from your chickens, milk from your cows. That’s the life.
- Author: Writing is a huge passion of mine. I’m that one person in a group project who would love to sit and write all the reports. I’m the one who doesn’t mind writing up all those notes from this mornings meeting. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing – a blog post, a poem, a story, a report, test scripts, code – I’m happy to see the words come together. Being an author appealed to me hugely in school but now I have my blog, and that’s enough for me right now!
- Lawyer (specifically for the forces, for no particular reason): In my final year of school I attended an opening evening for college, and the entire evening I spent lingering around the colleges that offered law. Then it clicked in my head (very randomly) that the armed forces stall in the corner could tell me some information about joining them as a law student. For weeks I was sure this is what I wanted to do. Looking back, it baffles me. Law, sure, but why I suddenly had an interest in the army is a mystery to me.
- Photographer: I studied photography at college and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I found a bone deep passion, and I doubt it will ever leave me. I studied my ‘proper’ subjects alongside too, but photography was my escape. I could step into the red room or the studio and all my troubles would be lifted. Because I’m a workaholic, I’d stay up for hours and hours taking, editing, printing, cutting, backing all of my photographs before writing about each of them aiming to achieve the highest possible mark I could (which I did). If you care enough, it’s a very time consuming and mentally exhausting course, and of course I cared. My photography sketch books were pristine, and I was proud of every single piece of work I produced. I also met Matt in my first ever photography class, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I would have loved to be a photographer, but I was always too worried about job prospects.
I’m still passionate for a lot of the dreams I had as a child and throughout my education, but for now they can all wait in the sideline as hobbies. Even though I seem to have my future and my career figured out, nobody knows what the future holds! We can only wait and see!
Let’s start by painting a mental picture. Think of a typical group of 19/20 year old students. Think of student hobbies, think of student lifestyle, think of student housing and think of student mentality. Like most, I bet you thought of a group of young, wild, loud, messy, lazy teenagers who still rely on their parents for money which they eagerly waste on alcohol and noodles they eat out of the pan. Was I close?
In comparison, I felt like a 60 year old lady. Whilst the rest of my peers would head off to the student bar in between lectures, I’d head over to the library. As they returned to the student bar after class, I’d much rather head home to my tidy, cosy home where my cats, kettle and fluffy pyjamas await me. I must have been a bit naive to presume that just because I was studying a stereotypically ‘nerdy’ subject there wouldn’t be a whole lot of the above.
The University of Hull
Although I felt uncomfortable and awkward at first, eventually I realised it doesn’t matter. I lost the care for what people think about me long ago, probably when I was around 18 and fresh out of sixth form. I’d suffered enough public stress breakdowns from the work load to be embarrassed of taking pride in my education!
I realise not everybody (okay, more like barely anyone) my age who is studying at university is like me. Chances are you were/are probably just as wild at heart, but if you’re not that’s okay too. There is such a strong media presence of the ‘typical’ student, that people presume it’s the norm and follow in the footsteps of those before them. I’m settled and I’m happy. I’m lucky enough to have started a huge chapter of my life early, because I found my soul mate and my search is over. People have different priorities, different hobbies and different lifestyles.
If you happen to be starting your first year of university (or even are returning with a change of heart) and dreading this social situation,
- Don’t let anybody force you into going anywhere/doing anything that makes you uncomfortable.
- You’re not boring. You would simply much prefer to spend your free time somewhere you can talk to your friends and actually hear what they’re saying.
- Find a friend who has the same attitude as yourself. Whilst everyone else wastes a bunch of money at a nightclub, you can treat yourself to pizza, booze and films at your place!
- Don’t feel unwelcome just because you aren’t a regular at the bar. If you fancy a night out, go for it. No one will judge you. No one cares enough. They will just be happy you’re there!
- Do what makes you happy, and stop worrying about what others think of you.
- Despite all the above, just try to enjoy yourself. It doesn’t last long, and I can’t imagine there is much freedom after graduation!
Hope you’ve had a nice day, lovelies!
How was your university experience? Did you live the typical student life, or find a different path?